Steve Bruce has a theory about Dwight Gayle at Newcastle United
Steve Bruce is backing Dwight Gayle to finally establish himself as a Premier League striker – when returns from injury.
Gayle, sidelined with a calf problem, scored 24 goals in all competitions for loan club West Bromwich Albion last season.
The 29-year-old had scored six top-flight goals the season before that after firing Newcastle United back into the Premier League with 23 Championship strikes.
Bruce opted to keep Gayle at St James’s Park, despite interest from clubs in English football’s second tier.
And the 58-year-old believes that Gayle, expected to return to fitness ahead of deadline day signing Andy Carroll, can deliver at Premier League level.
“He has still got a bad calf,” said head coach Bruce, who took Gayle to China for the Premier League Asia Trophy. “Dwight has made improvement. We went to China and we thought he was going to be OK, but he had a setback. I hope he’ll be fit.
“When I was analysing the squad, he’s capable of scoring a goal. If you’re a Championship manager, you take him, because he’s the best striker in the Championship, so he must be able to contribute in the Premier League.
“I would hope he’ll be back before Andy Carroll. I said to the lad I’ve tried to buy him wherever I have been, but I have never been able to afford him.
“He’s the best in the Championship, even last year he scored 24 times, got sent off in the semi-final and he got West Brom close. I hope he can contribute, because he is capable of scoring.”